David Lee takes the 'Dryva' seatWednesday, December 01, 2021
David Lee is fully invested in making Dryv Group the leading provider of integrated logistics and transportation services in Jamaica.
The president of private equity firm Machine Capital Inc recently acquired a 30 per cent stake in Dryv Group, which was started by Norbrook Ventures — an affiliate of Norbrook Equity Partners. Lee has also taken on the role of executive director of Dryv Group, managing day-to-day operations of the company, after previously serving as a business consultant.
At present, the Norbrook Ventures subsidiary provides outsourced logistics management services, corporate courier services, and corporate passenger transportation services. It lists MailPac Local, Caribbean Producers, Sagicor Bank, and Wisynco Group among its clients.
“We are a technology-driven company and we're offering transportation and logistics services. In particular, we're focused on giving the best kind of client experience that people can expect and, of course, nowadays people expect that there is an app,” Lee explained to the Jamaica Observer recently.
He added that by “approaching a traditional business service with initiative around technology implementation” it allows Dryv Group to offer transportation and logistics services in a more efficient way.
Dryv Group was incorporated in 2018 by Norbrook Ventures when it acquired Apollo Taxi Service in 2018 with a view to enter the ride-share market. In June 2020 the group hired Lee as a consultant to oversee the day-to-day management of the company and make his recommendations.
According to Lee, “After spending some time in that business — I mean actually spending time in the day-to-day running of the taxi operation — I determined that it was one of two things. It wasn't necessary for us to maintain that brand and that traditional operation for us to succeed in that ride-share space. So once we made that determination that we didn't actually need it, it was no longer a critical component of the overall operation.”
“But because we owned it and because we saw the day-to-day operation — what worked and what didn't in the traditional taxi business — that was how we were able to fine-tune our eventual plan for the Dryva app,” he said.
Earlier this year, Norbrook Ventures sold Apollo Taxi Service and invited Lee to invest in the Dryv Group and the development of the app.
Set for a soft launch among Norbrook Ventures' staff and their family this month, Dryva app will offer Jamaican corporates all the services of the group at the touch of a button — commercial delivery, courier service, executive-style transportation or 'black car service', and car rental services. Lee has plans for a public launch in January.
By using the app, the company can share its operation costs across multiple clients by either supplementing or fully meeting its clients' fleet management and transportation needs.
“With technology, with the proper type of dispatching software and routing software, you can use one asset to serve multiple clients and give them a much better pricing and still give them the same level of efficiency while you make a return on that investment,” Lee shared.
For clients using Dryva, they can request any service and expect fulfilment of their request within a 24-hour time span. What's more, both senders and recipients can also track the vehicles' scheduled arrival for pickup and/or drop off.
The app also will soon facilitate car rentals from Hertz Rent-A-Car.
“Because we have a relationship with Hertz, we are an agent of Hertz, we can offer car rentals to our client base. That is, local users of the app and the companies we do business with, we are able to give them car rental bookings at much better, attractive rates,” Lee told Business Observer.
For its commercial delivery, courier and corporate passenger services, Dryv Group now has a fleet of ten motor vehicles and four motorcycles. Lee disclosed that the company will be adding to the fleet leading up to the launch of app.
When asked about expanding operations, Lee said: “We're based in Kingston, but we're delivering islandwide. So anything that we're delivering will originate from Kingston, but we'll go as far out to other parishes. We do expect to have hubs in certain locations and the first hub is going to be Ocho Rios, so that is something in the works.”
He explained further that with the north-south leg of Highway 2000 connecting both Kingston and Ocho Rios, the decision to create a second hub in the latter location was a no-brainer. Moreover, he said that Ocho Rios would also make transportation to Montego Bay easy.
Though mum on the dollar figure of his investment in Dryva Group, Lee revealed that he expects by the next 24 months the company will have value of approximately $500 million.
And how does Dryva Group compare with other transportation and delivery services? Lee responded that the company hires and trains its own staff to ensure a consistent service delivery.
“We believe that in order to give the above-average service or to have the service level that we want, we need to control the customer experience and that includes hiring properly, training properly and monitoring quality control as we go along. That is much harder to accomplish when you're just introducing independent people who can come and go as they please,” Lee noted.